A co-worker of mine got a chuckle out of it recently when I mentioned that during my pregnancy I (no lie) developed an Excel spreadsheet for my list of "baby needs."
Looking back on the list now is a little humorous. I had four columns: the item; the status of the item with choices for have, need, on registry, etc.; the category of the item, such as bath, travel, feeding, toys; and where to get the item.
I had everything on the list, from paint for the nursery to teethers, socks, baby wipes, crib sheets, baby nail clippers and a stroller. Moreover, I didn't just know I needed a stroller, I researched all the different types and brands of strollers, and prices, too.
For the car seat, I read online reviews, and scoured safety studies. I knew I had to have the most affordable, best-rated one available. I looked at which stores sold the seats and which stores sold them for less. I looked at all the different color schemes offered by that brand.
I did this for pretty much every baby item I thought I needed.
I know, I know. I can look back on it now and laugh. I can tell all the veteran parents out there, "You were right, it all works out in the end and nothing goes as perfectly as you plan."
But, given it all to do over again, I would do the exact same thing.
Something happens to you when you become responsible for a precious little life. That baby is yours to keep safe and make happy.
So it's the least we can do, to do it all the best we can.
Sure, maybe most parents don't resort to spreadsheets. But we do constantly have our kids' best interest in mind. From the car seats and highchairs they sit in, to the food we feed them, what is best for our kid is our decision to make.
Unfortunately, we also have to depend on others for our children's well-being, at least a little.
As you've seen in the headlines, some of the most-trusted, well-known brands have been plagued with recalls lately -- from Children's Tylenol and Benadryl to more recently Similac and Fisher-Price.
Not only have these recalls been so prevalent, they can be shocking. Similac's powdered formula was recalled because of the presence of beetles in one area of a manufacturing plant, as I'm sure you've heard by now.
It's downright scary that even when we think we've done all the research and made the best choices for our babies, we actually can be putting them in danger.
I could commend the companies. At least they came forward. At least they are getting these contaminated or dangerous products off the shelves. I'd like to believe they're looking out for our little ones, too.
But in reality, producing children's products, be they medicines, toys or formula, is primarily just a business to these companies. When we're looking at what is safest, they're looking at the bottom line.
No one else on earth is or ever will look out for the best interests of children as much as their parents.
If that makes me seem a little over-the-top sometimes, then I can live with that.
• Contact Jessica Wiant at firstname.lastname@example.org